Tuesday, 29 May 2012
What lovely weather we're having, seemingly so sudden, but just in time for our open weekend. A naturist club in the cold rain would be no fun. But all is quiet again, visitors and campers gone, everyone back at work, room in the pool! Poor sods having to work, I'm lucky being a man of independant means. I really wouldn't like having to work again, even if I was capable which I'm not.
Monday, 21 May 2012
Yesterday I watched The Tempest with Helen Mirren, twice. A truly amazing film, incredible acting. I know the Language of Shakespeare is both difficult and beautiful, and deeply profound, not easy. However this was made to come alive.
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
|A Paper wot i wrote|
I liken myself to a pearl fisherman, I open and discard many oysters, but rarely I find a pearl, when I do I hang on to it. Some pearls are unique in the own right, others begin to fit together like a perfect pearl necklace the pearls, (of wisdom) are at times like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, as they fit together a picture emerges. Allow me to tell you about this picture I've discovered.
I was born in 1948, therefore my memories of childhood began in the fifties, and some things were still rationed! If cooking oil was even available, I don't know, but my mum never used it. Olive oil, you could get from the chemist for earache! Everything was fried in lard. Chips were deep fried in beef dripping. Pork dripping was spread on bread for a snack. Margarine was a hard obnoxious creation, a grim reminder of the deprivation of wartime, though quite poor, we always had butter.
Meat was a very real commodity, bought from a butcher, who would saw, chop and slice pieces of meat from carcasses right in the shop, the sweet sickly smell of a butchers shop is something that this coming generation won't experience. Meat was prized for having a good layer of fat, with fat marbled throughout, well; it wouldn't roast properly without it! Everyday bacon had a thick layer of fat with the rind on, being properly cured it could be dropped into a frying pan and the only thing that came out of it was fat, no yellow watery muck! In my family (5 kids), that bacon fat was fought over as dip, mopped up by a thick slice of fresh delivered unsliced crusty bread, made without preservatives and the Chorleywood bread process, would by tomorrow be stale and make the perfect toast. Of course, just about everybody smoked, untipped fags too.
According to current fat phobic medical advice, there should have been an epidemic of heart disease, there wasn't! Yes, people died of heart attacks, but in general it was typically men in their seventies, who had lived a full and fruitful life.
Why, now in the enlightened days of the 21st Century are we in the grip of an epidemic of heart disease, the foremost killer of our age.
Ischaemic Heart Disease Made Simple
By heart disease, I refer to atherosclerosis and the coronary thrombosis that may ensue and subsequent ischemia and myocardial infarction.
Ischemia simply means tissue starved of blood, so if the heart muscle or myocardium suffers a lack of blood flow the muscle is starved of oxygen resulting in angina or if more severe, a heart attack where muscle tissue dies, this dead tissue is called an infarct, hence, heart attack = myocardial infarction.
The cause of this is atherosclerosis. This is where the coronary arteries are partially blocked by plaques of atheroma. Sclerosis, simply means tissue change, usually caused by inflammatory damage resulting in scarring, which in turn provides a keying surface on the normally smooth artery lining to which the atheroma can attach.
MI or Myocardial Infarction, commonly heart attack, occurs when exertion or emotional trauma results strong and fast heart beats which rupture and tear atheroma plaque formations in the coronary arteries. A clot forms on the tear, the clot subsequently breaks free and travels into a smaller artery and blocks it, resulting in lack of blood flow to the section of heart muscle which that particular artery feeds. Those heart muscle cells then die.
A House Built on Sand – The False Premise
In the fifties or sixties medical scientists examining atheroma, found that it was constructed from cholesterol, which over time became calcified. They concluded that a high level of cholesterol in the blood was the causation factor. Since cholesterol is partly saturated fat, trials were conducted on low fat diets, particularly low in saturated fat and of course they found this lowered levels of serum cholesterol.
This became the foundation stone upon which was built the health advice of the last 50 odd years. I'm sorry to say but, this is far too simplistic and is a false premise.
They were wrong then, and are still wrong today!
The House Falls Down
For a long period of my life, I was very health aware, I followed the advice, I ate a low fat diet, and I had an active job but still went to the gym 2-3 times a week. Zoe came to live with me, and for 7 years or so did the same thing, she was young, slim and very fit.
Yet aged 43 she had 3 simultaneous heart attacks and was diagnosed as having two coronary arterial blockages one of 70% and one of 99%. She remained in Harefield Hospital for a double coronary artery bypass graft operation. Her serum cholesterol was at the time considered normal at 5.2 mmol/ml
99%!!! That is 1% away from certain death! How could this have happened to a young slim very fit woman who had followed Government Health and lifestyle advice?
Get this, over 50% of people who presented with heart disease were considered to have normal cholesterol. If high cholesterol was the cause, even 1% presenting with normal cholesterol would challenge the argument, over 50% makes the argument utter rubbish!
Quite clearly, this means anyone can suffer heart disease irrespective of their cholesterol levels. The knee jerk reaction from Gov. Health Advisors was, without the benefit of science, to state that total cholesterol should be no higher than 4mmols/ml, barely attainable. Meaning everyone who suffers heart disease now has raised cholesterol! I believe this is called SPIN!
Furthermore, as doctors prescribe more and higher strength stains to attempt to meet this target and hence improve their budget, people who get to 4 or below are unable to function properly, they suffer dementia. Bear in mind the brain consists of 70% saturated fat. The body needs cholesterol!
Cholesterol – The Facts
Just exactly what is cholesterol and why do we have it? There are two types of cholesterol;
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL)
Medical opinion now says HDL is good and ALL LDL is bad. Let me tell you, if you had no LDL, you would die! So, it can't all be bad, what rubbish!
LDL cholesterol is a tiny droplet of a compound of Lipids (FATS) and Protein and is encased in a protein coat. LDL is the basic building block for cellular reconstruction, sounds rather necessary to me!
HDL is similar, however its sole purpose is attach itself to excess LDL and return it to the liver for reprocessing.
Drugs companies, Doctors and governments are making megabucks from cholesterol lowering drugs – Statins, which can now be bought over the counter. The govt want millions put on statins for the rest of their lives, irrespective of the side effects, long term risk of liver failure, muscle weakness and the risk of fatal muscle wasting disease. Cholesterol lowering spreads, drinks and god knows what else proliferate, this is BIG business.
It doesn't end there, almost every aspect of our lives are being manipulated by our supposed risk of getting heart disease. This is scare mongering tactics, but then I suppose scared people are easy to manipulate. Take smoking, we're led to believe that if you breathe a whiff of someone else's fag then your risk of heart disease is increased by 25%, RUBBISH
Does smoking cause heart disease? NO. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, carbon monoxide is absorbed preferentially by the haemoglobin, thus, when you smoke your cardio-vascular system is put under stress. If you have heart disease, it will show earlier. Don't forget extreme exercise does the same, people, young people, die playing games of sport, running and so on. NO-ONE turns around and says, "Exercise causes heart disease!" Even though people die of it, taking exercise.
Is Heart Disease Contagious
Of course not, though it may be genetically inherited. Can you "Catch" heart disease if you don't live your life right? Is this a self- inflicted illness? I don't think so.
Professor Fredrick Piehl of the Kardinska Institute in Stockholm, a leading geneticist, has recently identified a mutant gene that 1 in 4 of us have. This gene may not be switched on, but if it is, then, dependent upon how it is switched on it may cause any of the known autoimmune diseases. These are the diseases where the immune system attacks host cells as if they are invaders, some examples are; Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, Asthma and guess what? Atherosclerosis.
In atherosclerosis the autoimmune response attacks artery lining causing inflammation. When the inflammation subsides it leaves sclerotic tissue (scars) to which cholesterol plaques can attach forming atheroma. Various research works is being done on this autoimmune attack. Professor Francois Mach at the Geneva University Hospital is researching anti-inflammatory drugs to combat atherosclerosis. So far it has been found that T.H.C., the active ingredient of cannabis, stops the disease in its tracks. T.H.C. works by occupying sites on the artery lining that leucocytes would otherwise attack. T.H.C. or cannabis will prevent all damage from all autoimmune diseases, but will probably never be licenced in this country as a medicinal drug. Drugs companies are in a race to synthesise T.H.C. free of the psychotropic effects of cannabis. The first to get a patent will rule the world (joke).
There is a messenger hormone that triggers an autoimmune attack that has been isolated and named "Interleukin 6". A trial is currently being done to follow a tranche of middle aged men testing them for interleukin 6 as a predictor for heart disease this trial will follow them to their death.
So, can we catch heart disease? It seems unlikely if it is wholly genetic, unless it can be triggered by other factors, but that is conjecture. Meanwhile, we get bashed about our lifestyle, like it's our fault! Maybe lifestyle does make a difference, but maybe not in the way you may think, please bear with me, it's not a short story.
Cholesterol – The Forgotten (or forbidden) Science
LDL cholesterol is comprised of subclass particles, this isn't new information. I don't know when this was discovered, but the earliest reference I can find is "Low Density Lipoprotein Subclass patterns and Risk of Myocardial Infarction" By M.A. Austin, J.L. Brescow and C.H. Hennekens, Journal of The American Medical Association 1988!
Subclass particle A is a small dense particle that is known to form plaques and is therefore a cardiovascular high risk.
Subclass particle B is a large fluffy particle that does not form plaques and is therefore a cardiovascular low risk.
Trials were conducted by D.M. Dreon and associates between 1994 and 1999, the resulting papers were published in " The F.S.A.E.B. Journal" in 1994 and the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 1995 and 1999. These trials were conducted on groups of healthy young men who were monitored whilst being fed various diets. The results demonstrated that a low fat diet reduced total cholesterol, HDL was lowered, along with LDL, however, the particle distribution of LDL was altered and high levels of particle A were produced, increasing the cardiovascular risk.
A fat rich diet including saturated fat increased total cholesterol, but, HDL cholesterol was raised and the particle distribution in LDL showed to be high in particle B, lowering cardiovascular risk.
In a nutshell:
Low Fat Diet = High Risk of Heart Disease
Fat Rich Diet = Low Risk of Heart Disease
Why has this been swept under the carpet? Why is it not in the public domain? Clearly this is not what interested parties! want to hear. There's not much profit in lard lad.
This flies in the face of Govt health advice over donkey's years. It also means that for people with a genetic predisposition to heart disease, their advice is not only blatantly wrong but fatally wrong. Their dangerous health advice has caused early death for thousands of people. Just imagine the number of law suits in America if the FDA had to admit they made a mistake
Conspiracy?......... Or not
It's hard to believe this is a knowing conspiracy, even though getting rid of people before retirement age must have its attraction in light of the impending pension crisis. Not all, by any means, but a lot of the foregoing is referenced in all of Dr Robert Atkins books. Dr Atkins was a Cardiologist and a lifelong clinician, he did not hide behind conventions, he was insightful and daring and not afraid to practise his beliefs. Millions of books out there and where is he? Dead and buried and his lifetime's work buried alongside him.
He was supposed to have slipped on ice and suffered fatal brain injury. When people fall they instinctively protect their heads, unless they are unconscious before they hit the ground. Did the CIA bump him off, sneak up behind him and deliver a fatal blunt trauma head injury?
His medical records were unfortunately, accidently passed to an anti- Atkins organisation who let slip that his weight on death was about 18st, pouring scorn on his own ability to control his weight. Now he was a tall man, the Daily Telegraph sought the opinion of a head trauma specialist who said, "Patients in a coma with head trauma have low blood pressure, we seek to maintain blood pressure by pushing intravenous fluids, this can result in a considerable weight gain." Even so many "Experts" queued up to give him a kicking, without any apparent evidence, only ifs and mights. The most corrupt statement some said was, "Atkins may cause diabetes" What Bollocks. He was the only clinician I'm aware of who could effectively "cure" type 2 diabetes and did so for thousands of people. This should not have been a surprise to the medical profession since prior to insulin producing drugs and synthetic insulin, the only treatment available to treat type2 diabetes was a high fat low carb diet, and it worked. With the advent of drugs and insulin, this treatment was abandoned due to fat phobia, so diabetes is now treated arse backwards, treating the effects not the cause. The cause being not insufficient insulin, but rather insulin resistance, the approach to treatment being control of blood sugar through diet, yet they are advised to eat carbs. Consequently, sufferers are in a downward spiral of increasing insulin and all manner of associated problems until death.
Why was it necessary to discredit him and his work? Certainly at the height of his diets popularity American and British Economies were suffering the Atkins effect. Potato growers, wheat producers, bakers and the food companies involved in pushing sugar and carbs, were all hurt. His work was capable of hurting drugs companies, some of the most powerful companies in the world. In totally discrediting Atkins and his work, anything in his books would have no credit. They needn't have worried, millions of copies were sold, but there was only me boring enough to actually read them!
Don't Eat That! – Eat This!
An almost constant manipulation of diet, what was good for you yesterday, will kill you today. What was killing you yesterday will make you live forever today. How can anyone make any sense of this?
This current dietary and lifestyle advice is probably the largest social experiment ever conducted in the world. Meanwhile, heart disease is on the increase and occurring at an earlier age and affecting more women, it should be apparent that something is wrong. It ain't working.
It should be clear from the previous argument that genetic predisposition should determine that a fixed proportion of the population will be prone to heart disease. Up to the late fifties and early sixties, when people ate sensibly, they were protected to some extent by the consumption of saturated fat. This didn't mean they wouldn't get it, but rather it occurred mainly to men, late in life, indeed many would die from other causes first.
Since then diet has changed, society has changed completely. Most women now work full time, so when it comes to food they seek an easy option. The consumption of ready prepared and convenience food has increased enormously. Food Producers under pressure from Governments and consumers have reduced saturated fats mostly, but also total fat in their products. People think fat is a swear word, it's a sin to use fat, people want to buy and eat low fat products. These products would be bland without "fillers" industry speak for added carbohydrate, salt, sugar, gums, monosodium glutamate and any other old crap that comes to mind.
Common sense should prevail, we weren't meant to eat like this. We are the same Homo-Sapiens as the hunter gatherers in the Stone Age. We have always eaten animal fat, our Stone Age bodies and brains are largely composed of it! In the Stone Age carbohydrates were hard won, nearly as much energy put in to attaining them as gained by eating them. Sugar was only available in tiny amounts in berries, honey an occasional treat... Today we eat far too much carbs and sugar. We should in fact NEVER EVER eat refined sugar at all, it should be regarded as a TOXIN. No surprise then, we have increasing levels of obesity and diabetes! Who said fruit was good for us anyway, too much sugar. Look at the people who have unlimited access to tropical fruits, the south sea islanders all start looking good but end up massive. There's an ingredient worse than sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, it's cheaper than sugar and is in practically everything American. The problem is not fully understood, but it appears that every calorie of it consumed alters the body's metabolism, causing the body to store 3 calories for each one eaten. Hence, the too fat to wipe or even get out of bed super fatties. They're coming here, HFCS is being used here, but here simply called fructose, and it's going into everything. If people read the contents and see fructose, they think Oh that's fruit sugar, that's natural, and fruits are healthy. When we eat carbs, they should be complex carbs which have a slow release of energy. Simple carbs can be eaten but they should be liberally combined with fat which slows the absorption rate. If you eat say, French Bread which has the highest Glycaemic Index after sugar itself, then there will be a rush of glucose into the bloodstream followed closely by a rush of Insulin. Insulin combines with glucose which then allows it to enter cells, it is then converted by the mitochondria into energy. If there is much more glucose than can be burned, it is then stored, if nothing more is being absorbed from the gut, blood sugar dips and hunger is back. Stuff, store, hunger, stuff, store, hunger, stuff, get fat, it can go on all day. If that same bread stick is liberally buttered(not imitation spread shit) then plastered like a bad brickie with paté or full fat cheese, then, full tum, satisfaction, slow release, keeps hunger at bay till supper. The market is flooded with virtually fat free nibbles and snacks for people to munch on, which are nothing more than flavoured refined carbohydrate.
What Do Other Folks Do?
Given the absence of Domino's Pizza, the Inuit were traditionally out on the ice for 8 months living solely on seal meat and blubber. The remainder they spent on land eating mainly salmon and berries. A scientific study at the turn of the 20th Century found that diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer were unknown amongst the Inuit. Old age became an embarrassment, to the point where granny would be put in a kayak and pushed off to sea. Now a settled people, they have access to a modern diet. Now like us, they suffer all those ills.
The much hyped Mediterranean Diet is a myth, because certain aspects have been overlooked, let's take a look. The Greeks are renowned for their good health and longevity, their healthy diet contains about 30% fat. Quite a lot of it lamb fat, cheese and full fat yoghurt.
The Italians also share a reputation for good health and long life. The Italians consume large amounts of saturated fat, hard cheeses, salami, prosciutto, pancetta, speck etc.
The Spanish, whilst doing all the above, plus an ocean load of fish, unfortunately for them, have a sweet tooth, they eat sugared bread for breakfast "Churros" They've also embraced the potato, and it reflects in their poorer health.
The Gascon Paradox is well known. The people of Gascony defy current logic. They consume more saturated fat than any other group in Europe. They have great longevity and a very low incidence of heart disease. Their diet is rich in saturated fat. They particularly prize goose fat, in their folklore they say, "It is good for the heart"
They not only eat goose, but they cook with goose fat, and deep fry stuff in it. They eat a fair bit of duck, they preserve it in duck fat "Confit de Canard". They eat Paté de Fois Gras and many full fat cheeses. What isn't deep fried is served al la crème. They don't overdo the carbs, they do eat them, I like pomme dauphinoise, garlicky, creamy wonderful.
The Gascon Paradox is not a paradox to me, it's how Zoe and I eat.
The Living Proof
Given Zoe's previous medical history, it must appear irresponsible to hold and live by, such a controversial argument. But you have to bear in mind that healthy eating is only theoretical until the shit hits the fan, and boy it did. We both believed we were eating healthy, after her surgery cardiac rehab could only advise continuing with how we had been eating, that seemed wrong. I bought and read an Atkins book and we decided to try it about 10 years ago, since then I've picked up a few things along the way.
Zoe was experiencing some difficulties, which turned out to be "Small vessel disease" A silly name for something quite rare that they don't truly understand. Small arteries go into a spasm and restrict blood flow, in some case causing Ischemia, this can occur anywhere in the body. In Zoe's case this was causing brain cellular damage, the attacks were stroke like, even though never at any time did a doctor believe that she'd suffered a stroke despite the "F.A.C.E." symptoms being apparent.
Only one short paragraph. But it took about 2 years to get to that point. During which time, Zoe saw many specialists and underwent many investigations. This included seeing a Cardiologist who wanted another angiogram, I thought, bugger, the truth will out now.
The angiogram showed that both blockages had disappeared and that her native arteries were taking full blood flow, the bypass grafts were now redundant. He was completely at a loss to explain this, he gave a Gallic shrug and muttered, "Maybe they weren't there in the first place" A most stupid remark, which is akin to saying she didn't have a myocardial infarction, her ECG shows an inverted T wave, whatever that is, which is due to a previous MI. That's akin to saying there was a gross misdiagnosis and unnecessary surgery. When this surgery is carried out the surgeon feels along the artery to locate physically the blockage so as to ensure the graft is placed correctly. So he couldn't find blockages so he grafted anyway, what rot. No the man was merely demonstrating his human failing, blockages NEVER disappear, he was gobsmacked.
But this was wonderful news for us, a complete and total vindication for our continued belief that we are using the RIGHT approach to nutrition. What the cardiologist did find however was an artery that went into a stenosis or spasm, causing Zoe to have one of her usual attacks, for this he prescribed a slow release mononitrate, which keeps the vessels dilated. Since that prescription which, she takes daily, she has not had another attack. This doesn't mean however that anyone actually arrived at a diagnosis, this is what they're like, they were just happy she stopped turning up.
I believe I can explain the reason for the disappearance of her atheromas, even when the Cardiologist can't, god that sounds arrogant. I believe that the few years we followed a very low fat diet, meant her blockages developed over a relatively short period, not having time to calcify. Meaning that, when her lipid profile improved, the HDL cholesterol was able to dismantle them molecule by molecule. The key fact is her lipid profile, a recent blood test showed:
HDL = 3.13 mmol/ml
LDL = 2.83 mmol/ml
Triglycerides = 0.54
Total = 6.5
They nag her that 6.5 is too high and tell her to take statins. Their criteria is HDL above 0.9 and LDL below 3, triglycerides below 1 and the total below 5, she beats this on all counts bar one, with a bloody brilliant count for HDL, the good one. They want her to take statins to reduce the total, but they are quite prepared for the HDL, the good one, the mop up one, to be reduced! They seem to be totally unable to see how ridiculous that is, I think they are brain washed, and cannot listen to logic. More likely, if her total is above 5 they don't meet their budget, plus they get kick back on the drugs.
I am completely unapologetic for the length of this diatribe! There was just simply a lot to say on this topic, also because of our personal involvement, I am passionate about it! The constant stream of Govt ill Health Advice, the never ending stream of misinformation on food and obesity and the endless adverts for cholesterol lowering crap, low fat junk shit, guilt free glutton muck, pretend butter and rubbish and nonsense, it makes my blood boil. They're digging a pit that gets deeper each day, with no sign of common sense, meanwhile the Three Ugly Sisters (obesity, heart disease and diabetes) grow in power.